INDIANAPOLIS – A recent lack of rain made for nice spring picnicking weather in Indiana, but it's left most of the state unusually dry or facing drought conditions.
The U.S. Drought Monitor shows that 84% of Indiana is either abnormally dry or in the midst of a moderate drought, according to a Thursday update. That's up from 29% of the state that had faced those conditions the week before.
About 9% of Indiana is listed as currently experiencing a moderate drought, up from about 2.3% the week before.
Moderate drought conditions cover all or parts of several northwest Indiana counties, as well as parts of two far northeast Indiana counties, according to the Drought Monitor website overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a partnership with other agencies.
Sections of central and northern Indiana also experienced a moderate drought last summer. That drought, combined with water releases required to protect rare mussels, caused Lake Freeman in Monticello to shrink dramatically last summer. But that northwest Indiana lake, a popular boating destination, rebounded to its normal level after generous winter precipitation.
Rain forecast over the coming days across the state could alleviate Indiana's dry conditions.